Monday, December 15, 2008

Pictures From North Carolina

This is Joseph greeting the audience after his performance in A Mighty Day presented by his preschool on 11 December 2008.

As the crowd moves on, so does Joseph. The play started at 7:00 pm and by the time the play was over it was obvious that more than Joseph's sister was ready for bed. Some of the kids fell asleep in position during the play. All in all, it was fun and a pleasure to watch.

Baby Dee, wants everyone to know that boys are not the only people who can be pirates.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Some Memories Of S'Mores In August 08

Nana is the senior Girl Scout in this family and Nana loves S'Mores.

You don't even have to be a Girl Scout to know you need a campfire to make S'Mores. Since our area of Florida has had its share of forest fires, Nana got her own firepit for the making S'Mores.

Making S'Mores is more fun when you have a crew to roast the marshmellows. Here are a Ise and Gus at work toasting their marshmellows.

Not everyone likes their marshmellow on fire. To some crewmembers it was upsetting when their marshmellow caught fire.

Then again, sometimes you have to get close enough to the firepit to at least warm the marshmellow.

Properly prepared S'Mores have a short lifespan. Well I guess improperly prepared ones also have short lifespans. While Baby D looks like she wants a S'More, this picture was taken just shortly before she decided she was going to eat real food. Perhaps that was the "last straw" that got her to eating real, not baby, food. If you tried to eat a S'More that close to her now there would be a problem.

Gus ensures their is no fire on his marshmellow.

This could be an Irish jig or like my cat, Gus could have realized he should be somewhere else.

Will does not like to wait for the marshmellow to cook. He is the youngest boy and rather than wait, he eats his marshmellows straight up. He has a couple in his left hand.

A shot of Ise and Will goofing around. You have to start traing kids about S'Mores when they are young. However, when they are young they quickly lose interest.

Ise assemblying a work of art, a S'More good enough to give to Nana.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Silver Springs Festival Of Lights

The Blushing Bride and

The Old Salt decided to go see the festival Of Lights at Silver Springs Amusement Park. About 30 minutes into the drive the radio station announced a parade on Silver Springs Blvd in Ocala which is the same street that runs past the entrance to Silver Springs amusement Park where we were headed. We decided to continue, it would workout or we would be on a different adventure.

This is one of the lighted displays in the park which I thought, as a transplanted Yankee, Christmas in Florida.

These white birds are some type of Egrets roosting in the tree across the Silver River headwaters in the park. Also in the tree are some Cormorants. By the time it was fully dark the tree was really full of birds.

This is the parks male Giraffe. Giraffes can give of an odor that make a pole-cat smell like a newborn baby. You have to smell it to believe it.

This weekend the Vietnam Moving Wall was also on display in the park.

As dusk fell the lighted displays got brighter.

A shrub trimmed, spray painted and lighted to look like a peacock.

A cute horse drawn buggy all lit up.

When it got dark, my ability to take a picture became determined by my ability to hold the camera still. Pictures in the dark require a tripod and more effort. I believe this is a photo of Pegasus.

Another shot of Pegasus with a lot more lights in the background.

This group of carolers, minus the kids, sang Christmas Carols for at least an hour with minimal breaks. The kids were invited up to sing "Jingle Bells."

I thought this would make a good last picture, I liked the way the picture turned out. We both had a great time and fully recommend the festival of Lights to everyone.

Today Was Christmas Cookie Day

This is the "Cookie Crew." I think the first and second cookies completed are being consumed in this picture.

Here we have some of the cookies before adding the topping.

These have a topping of some kind of melted chocolate and crushed peppermint candy cane. I know these were not meant for me.

I'm not sure what these are, I heard they have cherry something or other in them. Sorry, but they are not for me either.

Nana and Baby Newbie on the backyard swing. He shines when a camera is pointed at him.

Baby Newbie is playing with the Little people house but I cropped everything out because I liked his expression.

The name of the game is fun. You take an exercise ball and run full speed while rolling over the top. This is Gus in mid-air.

This is Will in mid-air doing the same thing. The ball is only partially inflated at this point. It suffered a thorn when it was thrown into a rosebush the last time the kids were out here.

The good thing is when the cookies were finished most of them left with my daughter and her kids. I love that part.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Texas Gun

Yesterday my grandsons, Gus, Will and the Newbie stopped by with their mother for an Afternoon of Fun in the Sun. Later in the afternoon, Gus, the older one told me after his nap he went in the "Man Room" looking for me and he saw my "Texas Gun."

I asked him what that was and he said, "You know, like they use in Texas."

He was describing a 45 Colt Replica made by Daisy. A BB gun that was issued in 1971 to celebrate the NRA Centennial. The replica hangs alongside the "Man Room" television set in a old western style holster with belt. The Daisy replica Winchester Model 94 also hangs alongside the replica pistol in a leather scabbard I used deer hunting years ago in California. The scabbard is Western and normally used with a saddle; I used it to strap my rifle to my dirt bike to get around logging trails.

So both Gus (5) and Will (3) went into the "Man Room" where I allowed them to look them over, answer questions and generally chat Texas Guns.

Life is good!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Another Day Of Fun And Sun

Today Old Salt, aka Cheez and Blushing Bride, aka Nana, hosted three Grandboys along with their Mom.

At lunchtime their was the mandatory McDonald's Cheeseburger Happy Meal run down the road. The two older Grandboys and I had Happy Meals and their Mom ate a healthy fish sandwich; a Number 11 meal in Ronald speak.

The Blushing Bride stayed home with the youngest Grandboy. She is not much of a Happy Meal aficionado and it was time for the little guy to get a snooze. Lemme tell you, Nana knows about babies and snoozes.

After lunch the Grandboys Mom enforced the mandatory after lunch rest period.

Gus coming in long on the big ball.

Somebody tickled Mom's fancy. Baby Newbie likes to keep his eyes on me and the camera.

Nana gets some leg on the ball. Notice the ball is no longer round from that well placed foot. I think it was out-of-round for at least an hour.

Will has just awoke from his rest period and is in that stage of coming around. He is tearing that blueberry muffin up. Will never wants to take a rest but he usually falls asleep first.

Another shot of baby foot. The way he was sitting I could not get both in the same frame so I aimed for one.

Gus has just launched the ball with a hefty kick.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

1871 NRA Centennial 1971

While digging around inside the Twins, I pulled out two replicas made by Daisy, one a Winchester Model 94 BB Rifle and the other a Single Action Colt 45 BB Pistol both of which are marked 1871 (dot) NRA Centennial (dot) 1971.

Each of them has wear marks, but no rust, from inadequate storage while I meandered around the world during my naval service. However, they are 100% complete with the exception of the boxes and paperwork that came with them. I would bet each has only shot a handful of BBs.

At this point, I thought what to heck, lets see if anyone is selling these on one of the online gun auctions.

Their value on the net, when you can find one seems to be a lot more than what I paid for them years ago. I only wish I had the boxes and paperwork that came with them. When you are young who knew they would become a collector's items.

Oh well, live and learn.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Start Of The Season

Down from the attic the boxes came. Large or small, green or red, cardboard or plastic, long or short, they all came into the house on their annual pilgrimage. Two trees to pick from. This year we will use the shorter 6 1/2 foot already lighted tree that we did not use last year. It will be on blocks to look taller.

The blocks are ceramic pots normally used for plants. However, in this case they are pressed into service by the Blushing Bride.

Items, old and new are carefully hung in accordance with the hangers vision.

One fantastic work of art courtesy of my Blushing Bride. Now all it needs are some gaily wrapped boxes underneath it. Well that and some smiling little guys and gals running around it.

The tree seems to have met with local approval.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Quantum Of Solace

James Bond and Camille

This the second best James Bond movie I have ever seen. Daniel Craig is the best. I say this was second because I was slightly more impressed by the opening chase scene in Daniel Craig's last movie, Casino Royale. In Casino Royale I was totally impressed by the jumps made in the elevator shaft.

Regardless of Daniel Craig's excellent James Bond, the Blushing Bride and I have been fans of Dame Judi Dench for years, from the first time we ever saw her in a British comedy on American television. She is always fascinating.

Quantum of Solace has two very beautiful supporting actresses in Olga Kurylenko as Camille and Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields.

It was a very action packed movie that kept my Blushing Bride and myself on the edges of our seats from end to end. We loved it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving To All My Friends

Diesel Boat Chow Hall, Aft

These are pictures of a diesel submarine's chow hall. Together they show the whole chow hall. Up to 24 sailors can eat in each sitting depending upon if the cook doesn't use any of the table space. The meal would consist of up to 5 servings depending on the amount of crew on board. The chow hall is also the movie theater, the library, classroom and provides any other type of space when needed.

Diesel Boat Chow Hall, Forward

I ate numerous Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners in submarine chow halls just like this one. The greatest thing about submarine chow halls was we ate off plates, not trays. Food was normally put on the table on platters or in large bowls and you served yourself.

Diesel Boat, Galley

As the boats got bigger, so did the chow hall however, they still look very much the same basically Formica and CRES (stainless steel). Over the years soda and milk machines were added to go with the coffee urns and microwave ovens were added to go with the toasters. The Galley is where the cook prepared the meal. It was about six feet from the passageway to the sink shown in the middle of the Galley picture. On the right of the picture where the ovens, grills and deep fat fryer. On the left the mixer and a small work area. Much of the food preparation such as salads would be done by the mess cook on a chow hall table.

Let us not forget that a submarine is a ship that suffers angles and dangles depending upon the operations it is involved in. The cook often had to work while the ship had angles (up) or dangles (down) of 30 degrees and most of it was done in the galley, from making rolls to roasting turkeys.

For those of us who could not be with our families because of duty or deployments the camaraderie of the ships crew made these holiday meals less difficult and something to remember.

May God bless and keep all of my shipmates, past , present and future. May God also bless those serving today wherever they are around the world.

May you all have fair winds and following seas.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving